Started my 16 weeks marathon training using the FIRST 'Run Less, Run Faster' program today with 3 x 1600m interval training at Kanteerva stadium. This program requires one to do 3 specific runs and 2 cross-training sessions per week. The three training runs are: interval training, tempo run and a long run. Each of the 48 runs has a specific pace/timing goal. Of these, the interval training is definitely my least favorite - in fact I am always apprehensive before the interval run and usually want to get it over with as the 1st run of the week.Today though I was pretty much on target with 6:55, 7:02 and 6:58 versus a target of 6:57. Though I had been very busy the previous few days with inadequate sleep perhaps the fact that I was working out after a low mileage week(20Kms) , running after a break of 2 days and the cloudy weather helped me. This was my 2nd run with a new pair of Addidas Supernova glide 4 - a family of shoes that I have stayed with for the last 9 years.
There are of course several different marathon training programs out there- I have for now decided to stay with the FIRST program. I recently acquired the 2nd edition of the book which has several improvements over the 1st. The tables are both in Kms and Miles. The sections on cross-training as well as stretching and strengthening are more specific and detailed. In general, I found the flow to be better. This is the 3rd time that I will be using the program. Both the previous times - Hyderabad marathon 2011 and SCMM 2012 - I fell short of my target. This time I am training for a marathon pace of 8:19 per mile with the goal of completing the Mohawk Hudson River Marathon on 7th October in 3:38 and qualifying for Boston marathon 2014 in the 55-59 years age group. I used the last two weeks to do interval training and tempo run after a gap of 5 months. I am continuing to do strengthening two days a week at Manipal hospital. Based on advice from several sports physios I am also trying to spend adequate time stretching(specially my calves and glutes) after a workout.
For the record my weight after the 1st day of training was 59.7Kgs close to my target optimal weight of 59Kgs. It is quite amazing how my weight varies as much as 1.5 -2 Kgs between the morning and night - not sure if so much variation is normal. The picture below was taken just after the workout:
PS. By the time I completed this post I also did my tempo run for this week - which was a 2 miler at a short tempo pace of 7:30 per mile after a 2 mile warm up.